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While it was originally reported that Build Inc. was planning to build around 120 rental units on the half-acre SoMa parking lot which fronts 12th, Norfolk and Harrison Streets, plans for the construction of three six-story buildings with 235 group housing suites and up to 470 individual beds, common living areas and shared kitchens have been drafted for the 1532 Harrison Street site.

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In total, the project would construct approximately 235 group housing “suites” designed for single or double occupancy which would be grouped into nine “houses” per building. Each house would each feature common kitchens, dining areas, living areas and balconies.

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The individual suites would range in size from 227 to 409 square feet and include individual bathrooms, sinks, two-burner “kitchenettes” and balconies for suites above the first floor.

The three proposed buildings would rise up to 65 feet in height and be joined by a series of sky bridges over two mid-block alleys between 12th and Norfolk Streets.

In addition to the housing, just under 5,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space would be constructed at the northern edge of the project off Norfolk Street and at the corner of Harrison and 12th Streets (click the rendering above to enlarge).

The plans which will require Conditional Use Authorization from the Planning Commission to proceed include 480 underground parking spaces for bicycles and only one off-street parking space for car share as well as one space for a handicap van.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Adam

    Does their proposal include removing the parking in front of the building to construct that nice little patio? Does the city get paid annually for that right like they do with parklets?

  2. Posted by Norfolk Res

    Awesome! I live on Norfolk. This will definitely improve our street.

  3. Posted by anon

    Phenomenal development. Build it now (and build several more of these in other neighborhoods across the city at the same time).
    Stuff like this is terribly needed.

  4. Posted by Futurist

    So a developer is now building some college dorms.
    Awesome. And totally ridiculous. More drug infested SROs for the kids who won’t grow up.
    Great design, but dislike the function. And of course, enough bike parking for all. ‘Cause of course, they will all ride bikes to their little Google and Twitter and Yammer hideouts.
    Wait. Is there a room for storing excess skinny jeans? What about an old-timey barber shop? A group activity room for knit-bombing?
    We should be encouraging developers to build 1-3 bedroom units, for families and couples, not just singles. The one off street parking spot is absolutely insane.
    Thank you bike nuts.

  5. Posted by Sierrajeff

    235 residents and no parking. No matter how transit oriented you are – and I take public transit / walk to work every day – it’s pathologically detached from reality to think that *none* of these 235 people will have a car; and hence every car owned by a resident, from the first one on, will add to the neighborhood’s parking woes! (And that’s *before* taking into account the approximately 81 spaces that are being taken away by removing the existing parking lot.)
    I don’t care how “Transit First” you want the City to be; cars are not going to disappear and they can’t be legislated away by a whim of the Board of Supervisors. This, and the other no-parking SoMa developments, are simply ludicrous.
    (And as an aside, parking above retail (when done well) can provide a nice buffer between retail and residential uses, while also raising up the residential spaces to a more desirable height with more views and less street noise.)
    Also curious how desirous these “suites” and “houses” will be once little turnover begins… they sound like the suites at college dorms (e.g., Lowell or Mather at Harvard) – and the social dynamics even in those settings (where there are common interests and experiences) can be cliquish and stressful even in those contexts.
    [Editor's Note: That's 235 suites and up to 470 beds/residents within the development.]

  6. Posted by Sierrajeff

    and one fridge and one fridge-sized “pantry” for 9 people? ROTFLMAO

  7. Posted by Futurist

    @ Sierrajeff:
    Yes Yes Yes!
    It will get worse. Our BOS has drunk the Kool-Aid or smoked the crack of the bike nuts.

  8. Posted by S

    This development is across the street from the eagle and near all the clubs/nightlife on 11th street. This is totally appropriate for the neighborhood as it satisfies our huge need for transitional housing. this is geared towards folks in their twenties – not families – and not every project needs to be geared towards families. the last thing we need are families moving into neighborhoods known for bars/nightlife only to have them complain about the noise

  9. Posted by zig

    So like a commune but without any sex, drugs, women or fun

  10. Posted by zig

    sorry jumped the gun. I read high-tech and assumed these were dorms for tech workers to “synergize” and change the world together
    Just plain old modern SROs for anyone. I am for this. It seems we need to get back to SROs which used to be very common for single people to live more dignified than having roommates

  11. Posted by todd

    Rather than geared for the “high-tech” community, this seems more like student-oriented housing. Our higher ed institutions need more of it, and this seems like a great location for it (central to the art academy, USF, UC, CCSF, CCoA). And new construction is better than buying up existing SROs and converting them.
    The design seems strong enough, though nine people to a common area seems a little much. Maybe I’m too far out of my college years though. I’d up the number of car share spaces.

  12. Posted by Invented

    As soon as I saw the headline I knew this was going to set him off. Futurist get out of your small German SUV, get on yr bicycle and see what’s going on in the city. There’s an interesting trend toward community housing and there’s more coming. Watch what happens. This is an inventive solution to housing. Yes this should be taller in this highway adjacent and weird big box location but we all know this. And yes we also need family sized new apartments for the stability of our transient city.
    All in time.

  13. Posted by Invented

    Oops I thought this was the site where the food truck complex is. This is not highway adjacent. Can live (sort of) with the low rise structure.

  14. Posted by zig

    ^^^
    What is interesting is this is just a return to how things were before SROs became housing for chronic inebriates and drug users
    In past generations in SF many single men with jobs lived in SROs if you were blue collar and “hotel” like accommodations if you had means in the lower Nob Hill area
    Makes a lot of sense for the way people really live

  15. Posted by Futurist

    Sorry, dude, but it’s not “inventive”.
    It’s merely hopping on to a trend. Like you said: a trend. Without consideration for long term housing goals. Without concern for off street parking issues. Without concern for people wanting a little more private space.

  16. Posted by anon

    It will get worse. Our BOS has drunk the Kool-Aid or smoked the crack of the bike nuts.
    Um, Futurist and Sierrajeff, this is not a currently permitted type. The BOS has made this type of housing illegal. This is a private developer proposing this type of housing and no parking, because they view the market as desiring this currently illegal housing.
    You guys seem to think that this is government proposing this – it’s not. The government is “protecting” you from all the bad people that don’t want central planning to tell them exactly how buildings should be built and people should live.

  17. Posted by Futurist

    Of course they’re not proposing it. The BOS is not a developer. They’re a governmental agency.
    They’re supporting it. And I disagree with them.
    I do think that the Planning Commission may challenge the lack of parking during the Conditional Use hearings.

  18. Posted by temporary shortage

    Communal housing units? We now emulate USSR and China’s policies of 1930′

  19. Posted by Mike

    Oh, to be young again.
    What an incredible environment to network and make great friendships with like minded, talented people.
    Great idea.

  20. Posted by poor.ass.millionaire (formerly 49yo hipster)

    Personally I think the developer is very short sighted. These dorms-meets-hipster-meets-collaborative-techworker are a fad IMO. I can’t imagine this housing type being “in” 10-20 years from now. Hipsters will be middle age by then and the new young may not dig these digs. Also, If there is a tech bubble pop in SF this thing will be hard to rent out. The dev has balls to risk their long term cashflow on such an alt housing model.
    If they want to be “progressive”, build various sizes, and incl. those micro units if you want to be on the bleeding edge of housing. At least they are self contained. But shared spaces? When this thing becomes dated, this’ll be one hell of a white elephant!

  21. Posted by MorganDriver

    Totally agree with Sierrajeff and Futurist. This “pretend like people will not have cars and then people will not have cars” fantasy is just that — a FANTASY.
    And the push for “communal housing/dorms/frat houses” really cracks me up — my 23 yr old son is already sick of living like that.

  22. Posted by Futurist

    And oh yea, the “shared” kitchen is pure insanity.
    This could be a juvy hall, or a low crime jail.
    On second thought, maybe it is.
    Welcome to Communist China.
    Jeezus, anon. Do you HONESTLY believe this is phenomenal and “terribly needed”?

  23. Posted by Tupelo Honey

    Looks awesome! A communal way of life is more natural than the artificial isolation we’ve imposed upon ourselves, with cars and single family homes, where the only social outlet is our TVs…all as designed, since TV watchers make better consumers.
    You guys (futurist, et al) just sound old and cranky. This doesn’t work for me, wahhhh!
    Good point about SROs, zig. What makes an SRO the SRO’s as we know them, I believe–and correct me if I’m mistaken–is not just the size of the unit, but all the protective laws designed to assure that drug addicts, vagrants, and San Quentin discharge get to live in the most central neighborhoods in the city on little more than the SSI checks. They’re not allowed on the free market, IOW.

  24. Posted by around1905

    In principle, this is a very cool idea and formalizes what has traditionally happened in a lot of the large old Victorian houses in this town — around 10 people, each with their own bedrooms, sharing a large common area, kitchen, and yard/deck. This has been going on since the sixties, possibly earlier.
    But as somebody who has been living in shared housing his entire life, I think that this kind of development has some serious challenges. Most importantly, shared houses are political bodies — they need to decide who can live there, who has to leave, how chores get done, how shared thing get… shared… it goes on and on. It is much more personal and much more involved than a condo board. A developer renting these out to a bunch of random people and throwing them together is setting everybody up for some serious strife.
    In order for this to work, somehow the houses need to be populated organically — a small number of friends take each unit, and then run craigslist ads, or something like that, to fill out the remaining spaces in their units. They need some kind of system for making these places work socially too.
    In the shared houses in SF now, there are usually ‘core’ people in each house who really hold them together, and when they leave, these houses typically fall apart and then get repopulated by a new group of ‘core’ people.
    So there is some work to do here but the idea is extremely interesting and I wish everybody luck. Need to run now and see if I’ve gotten any reasonable responses to my craigslist ad for a housemate.

  25. Posted by rubber_turkey

    The design isn’t good enough. Judging by the suite layout, it lacks the character or funk to warrant the challenges 1905 lays out.
    It’s cool to be part of a group adapting a storefront in the Mission or a warehouse on Cesar,… but in a repetitive apartment block with tunnel-like common areas, and identical bedroom cells? Grim.
    Interesting idea. undercooked design

  26. Posted by Dan

    Note each individual unit has its own kitchenette and bath. What is shared is a living room, along with a larger kitchen and a dining room, encouraging communal dinners, and allowing residents to entertain. These would work well as co-housing, if each suite of studios were rented by a group of people who knew each other or shared a common interest.

  27. Posted by poor.ass.millionaire (formerly 49yo hipster)

    Tupelo- “where the only social outlet is our TVs…”
    Americans are more social than that….they have facebook and Instagram too…
    1905- “shared houses are political bodies…”
    Bloody good point! (Guess my days at Berkeley’s coops have slipped by.) The owners would be wise to rent out to a few core peeps, than have them fill beds by CLing this thing to compatibles. If I ever decide to embark on a crazy development like this, I’ll be sure to give you a call :)

  28. Posted by anon

    They’re supporting it. And I disagree with them.
    Source? I’ve seen no comment from the BOS on this building – have you?

  29. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    I am a Berkeley Cooper as well (was even President for a summer) and I fondly remember my co-op days. I am having a tough time seeing something like this work as a rental though.
    Co-housing is cool and works in quite a few areas in the Bay Area, but this is sort of co-housing light. I have my doubts. I definitely think they should build one and see how it turns out. The area adjacent to here used to be filled with SROs, often ethnically affiliated ones, before urban renewal gave us The Moscone Center.
    I also get a kick of watching the car-crazies blow a gasket here imagining that someone might actually want to live differently than they do. It’s okay fellas, no big mean MTA official is going to kick in your door and take your spare bedroom and assign it to a young person. You can keep your big house and your luxury SUV, just give someone else a chance to live in San Francisco too!

  30. Posted by anon

    Welcome to Communist China.
    Yes, making it illegal for a private citizen to build the type of housing that he wants is similar to Communist China. Oh wait, that’s what you want to do!

  31. Posted by conifer

    When built, I predict the whole project will be sold to the Academy of Art and it will be used exactly as intended, as a dormitory.

  32. Posted by alfred

    I’ve lived in and researched the design of group housing and this project looks like its a group of group houses. Kind of like taking five blocks of large houses and stacking them on top of each other.
    The economics of it look very good – there’s no square footage wasted on corridors, and the floorplate is wider than the typical apartment building.
    The individual mini-kitchens pose an interesting tradeoff on parking vs. roommate selection.

  33. Posted by RobBob

    I like it, some fresh ideas for SF.
    @Sierrajeff: I’m pretty sure you’re upset because they are legislating away cars by making it either very expensive or very difficult to find parking, so only the wealthy or very dedicated will try to have a car in the city. Just because you live in the city and drive a car now does not entitle you to have a car in the city in the future…

  34. Posted by poor.ass.millionaire (formerly 49yo hipster)

    NVJ- which coop house were you in? I was in kingman. Back in the mid 80′s; I wonder if the coops have changed a lot since then?

  35. Posted by Futurist

    Oh my RobRob. Calm down.
    Nobody’s gonna take away your little fixie.
    And, anyway. What’s wrong with being wealthy?

  36. Posted by BobN

    I think prisons in Sweden are like this. But bigger rooms.

  37. Posted by RobBob

    @Futurist
    I didn’t say anything was wrong with being wealthy, just that not everyone is entitled to a car. I have no problem with only wealthy people being able to drive around.

  38. Posted by sf

    I would like to apologize to Futurist for my snarky comment, I hope he has a wonderful Thanksgiving and everybody else too!

  39. Posted by jill

    if they provide no parking, then they should not allow people who move in to get parking permits. eveyone i know in SF has a car. when i moved here at age 22, all of the 22yr olds had a car. all of my sisters friends (22-25) have cars. if they are going to make a building like this without parking, then they need to make sure those residents are not clogging the street. the current idiots in the BOS are going to make this city unlivable. this kind of BS

  40. Posted by Dan

    Futurist, the communist China comparison makes no sense. In China the low rise urban neighborhoods have been replaced with modern high rises. If SF were in China, then South of Market, the TL, and the Mission would look like this: http://www.palmsprings.cn/english/images/exam/ap1.jpg
    Plus, the Chinese are ditching their bikes to buy cars. You’d love it there!

  41. Posted by Futurist

    Thank sf, but no need for apologies. When were you ever snarky to me? :)
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and all of my other wonderful SS buds here.
    Friend me?

  42. Posted by sf

    I miss the traditional SS posting with the pic of a beautiful dining room :(

  43. Posted by Sierrajeff

    RobBob – actually, I don’t currently live in the City, and if you read my comment you’d have read that I take transit and walk to work.
    And as it happens, I spent my 20s in Boston and Berkeley car-free, and loved it.
    Not a single aspect of my comment implicated my personal views towards my personal forms of transit. My point was simply that it’s irresponsible to think that *none* of the 470 people here (thanks, Ed!) will have a car… and therefore if even only 1 of those people 0.2% of the residents have a car, that’s one more car on the street… *before* you factor in the impact of removing 81 existing spaces.
    @ around1905 – thanks for cogently detailing the point I was trying to make in the last paragraph of my original comment. If anything I’d prefer to see a 21st century SRO than this “The Real World: San Francisco” experiment in group dynamics. (And yes, the comments about SROs historically being a valid form of entry-level housing, pre “urban renewal” and suburban flight, are correct.)

  44. Posted by AlfieJr

    @S “So like a commune but without any sex, drugs, women or fun”
    are you kidding? this is your basic party pad – by necessity. you’d die of boredom just staying in your room.

  45. Posted by AlfieJr

    @Invented: “In past generations in SF many single men with jobs lived in SROs if you were blue collar and “hotel” like accommodations if you had means in the lower Nob Hill area.
    Makes a lot of sense for the way people really live”
    exactly. welcome to the American society of the 21st Century – Back to the Future of 1920 (but now including women too!). Boy, the next gen really has a lot to look forward to.

  46. Posted by AlfieJr

    @around1905: “The design isn’t good enough. Judging by the suite layout, it lacks the character or funk to warrant the challenges 1905 lays out.
    It’s cool to be part of a group adapting a storefront in the Mission or a warehouse on Cesar,… but in a repetitive apartment block with tunnel-like common areas, and identical bedroom cells? Grim.
    Interesting idea. undercooked design.”
    good points. the shared common areas areas are especially weak – they need to be laid out cafe style, not college dorm dining room.

  47. Posted by AlfieJr

    sorry invented, that was zig’s coment.
    sorry S, that was zig’s comment.
    sorry around 1905, that was rubber/tury’s comment.

  48. Posted by AlfieJr

    @anon ‘Um, Futurist and Sierrajeff, this is not a currently permitted type. The BOS has made this type of housing illegal. This is a private developer proposing this type of housing and no parking, because they view the market as desiring this currently illegal housing.”
    no, it’s legal here now (West SOMA Plan). either as SRO or as the newly authorized micro-units. and there no minimum parking requirement at all anymore.

  49. Posted by AlfieJr

    @around1905: “But as somebody who has been living in shared housing his entire life, I think that this kind of development has some serious challenges. Most importantly, shared houses are political bodies — they need to decide who can live there, who has to leave, how chores get done, how shared thing get… shared… it goes on and on. It is much more personal and much more involved than a condo board. A developer renting these out to a bunch of random people and throwing them together is setting everybody up for some serious strife.”
    very true, and a crucial issue. it is up to the professional property management to solve this. to start, with extensive House Rules vetted by a Tenant Council of course. and there has to be a budget for frequent social activities.

  50. Posted by AlfieJr

    @conifer: “When built, I predict the whole project will be sold to the Academy of Art and it will be used exactly as intended, as a dormitory.”
    yes, definitely possible. several developers are pursuing such projects in SOMA, with a turnkey sale to a educational institution as Plan B.
    @todd: “Rather than geared for the “high-tech” community, this seems more like student-oriented housing. Our higher ed institutions need more of it, and this seems like a great location for it (central to the art academy, USF, UC, CCSF, CCoA). And new construction is better than buying up existing SROs and converting them.”
    exactly, and the zoning now permit student housing here for that reason.

  51. Posted by derrysf

    I own a home on one of the small roads connecting 12th with 13th Street, and have to say for selfish-ish reasons I was hoping for market rate units in the location. I’m absolutely for density in SoMa but parking is a real concern, with Rainbow Market up the road there is already a big issue with blocked access and the like. Barely a week goes by when I am unable to get the truck out of the garage for work due to some clown having parked in it to do a bit of shopping — adding several hundred new residents without any parking facility onsite is going to make a difficult situation worse.

  52. Posted by Dan

    In this case, I agree that having some underground parking makes sense, including more car share spots. I don’t know if it should be imposed on the developer by Planning, however.

  53. Posted by Anon

    ^um, these are proposed as market rate. They’re not subsidized or BMR housing.

  54. Posted by Alai

    Parking is a concern, which is why parking should be regulated. There’s no sense in forbidding people from living more cheaply without cars, just because you feel that they shouldn’t/won’t live without cars, and that it’s therefore fine to make them pay for parking whether they want to or not.
    We have the tools to deal with it; all we lack is the will.

  55. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    C’mon Sierrajeff and Futurist. Do you really think that the folks involved in this project believe that none of the residents will own a car? That the city is so naive? There are homeless people with a car in this city so of course there will be residents here who have a car. Certainly car ownership in this building will be lower than the 99% of apartment buildings that have 1-1 parking ratios, but that doesn’t mean no-one will have no car.
    So, yeah, this will put additional pressure on street parking. Fortunately there are solutions to this situation. Long time residents of SOMA know that the neighborhood is transitioning from a sleepy post-industrial zone to vital center of activity and should expect street parking to become more expensive and perhaps harder to use for long term storage.
    around1905 has the most insightful comment about this project. With such a high percentage of common area there’s a greater need for harmony amongst residents. Hopefully each floor can evolve into enclaves of compatibility. The worst case would be a remote, detached manager approving leases, resulting in residents who don’t play well together and instead hole up in their small private spaces.

  56. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    I just noticed that the entry door to each unit is a pocket door. That’s unusual!

  57. Posted by Futurist

    @MOD. you need to read my sarcasm, about bikes and cars at this project.
    Of course, I would want to see a 1:1 parking ratio here. At worse, it could be a 1:2 ratio, but parking will be sorely needed here.

  58. Posted by Alai

    Sure, parking is “needed”. Housing is needed more. The problem I have with your position, Futurist, is that you consider housing to be optional but parking to be essential.
    Right now there is no doubt that housing is in far more demand than parking. There was a post on Socketsite about a parking space going for a “shocking” $85000 – or about $260 per square foot.
    Both housing and parking are in demand in SF. Both have a market. The problem is that some people see the proper role of government being to suppress the cost of parking as close to zero as possible– even at the expense of traffic, the city budget, housing costs, etc; at the same time, when housing costs are through the roof, well, “that’s just the market, and if you don’t like it, move”.

  59. Posted by sfdev

    Not sure why you would be excited for this site – if the developer is going this route it means they have a user in tow – language school / art school / culinary school etc – there are several in the market and it will be master leased to them – I see this going back to bank – can’t believe investors still give build inc money to develop – closing without entitlements – hope the board of sups say no way -

  60. Posted by anon94123

    “For instance, the years-long campaign to make it nearly impossible to build garages is causing probably 30 percent of the traffic problem – those being all the drivers looking for a parking spot.
    And for all of you transit-first folks who pushed to ban parking in buildings so people would be “encouraged” to take a bus, I say: Good luck finding a seat”
    I think this section of former Mayor Brown’s recent letter in The Chronicle should be required reading for the many who have been fighting allowing off street private parking in new developments.

  61. Posted by Futurist

    @ Alai:
    It’s not about needing housing “more” than parking. It’s about are needed. You and others who have bough into the values of the SFMTA and the pro-bike, pro-transit people have made those values and goals your mantra.
    I have not. Argue all you want. An awful lot of the anti-parking sentiment here is about the dislike of a vehicle, period vs. the simple FACT that a lot of people choose and need cars, and they are part of our society. Those car haters seem to think they are on a higher plane, than car users.
    So let them think that. I have no problem with them riding their bikes, lawfully on the public streets. And the car owners have their rightful place on the public way as well.
    And off street parking in new developments is an essential component of keeping our traffic flowing smoothly.

  62. Posted by anon

    A lot of us just prefer choice, Futurist, rather than having the central planners dictate exactly how much parking everyone needs and must have. We get it, you’re more the socialist type that rejects individuals deciding on their own. Not my cup of tea.

  63. Posted by conifer

    Note Willie Brown’s column in Sunday SF Chronicle.
    He thinks it has been a mistake to limit parking in new buildings, and of course he is right.
    The people on this list who talk about “choice” to not have parking are no doubt the same people who believe marijuana is a medicine needed by patients who frequent dispensaries.
    It is just as much a ruse to promote marijuana as a medicine in order to legalize its use as it is to say that developers are “choosing” to omit parking when it is clear that they would make a greater profit by including it. They only “choose” to build without garages in order to get approval from the comrades in the planning department.

  64. Posted by Alai

    Yeah, ok, you think I’ve “bough into the values of the SFMTA and the pro-bike, pro-transit people”.
    I think I’ve bought into the values of people who want a place to live. Regardless of whether they are guaranteed the right to park their Camaro nearby for free, or not.

  65. Posted by anon94123

    “I made the mistake when I was mayor of promising to “fix Muni” in 100 days. Now, Mayor Ed Lee has a task force that says it’s going to take another $10.1 billion to get the job done.
    Another mistake.
    Yes, we clearly need a lot more money for our public transit system, particularly since our clogged streets are making San Francisco almost unlivable.
    But I’d like to add a couple of practical yet politically incorrect thoughts that you won’t find in any City Hall report.
    For instance, the years-long campaign to make it nearly impossible to build garages is causing probably 30 percent of the traffic problem – those being all the drivers looking for a parking spot.
    And for all of you transit-first folks who pushed to ban parking in buildings so people would be “encouraged” to take a bus, I say: Good luck finding a seat” Mayor Willie Brown
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/williesworld/article/An-apology-to-Obama-for-city-s-bad-behavior-5024637.phphttp://
    I had forgot to post this link previously, but feel this statement is a HUGE change in thinking and worthy of a Socketsite article. This political change pushing back against parking and traffic lane removals is already happening in the neighborhoods and the anger is growing.
    Having tax money used by the SFMTA to fight autos by removing traffic lanes and parking, and then the same agency turns around and asks for MORE money to build more bike lanes and parking removals, all while not filling vacant driver positions, not repairing equipment, and not expanding service, is insanity.

  66. Posted by anon

    Does Willie Brown actually have data to support the ludicrous claim that “probably 30 percent” of the traffic problem is caused by folks looking for a parking spot? That would go against the findings of every other study conducted in every other city ever.
    Where is parking being removed? Aren’t we simply allowing new development to be built with less parking? I haven’t seen any garages being closed.

  67. Posted by anon

    It is just as much a ruse to promote marijuana as a medicine in order to legalize its use as it is to say that developers are “choosing” to omit parking when it is clear that they would make a greater profit by including it. They only “choose” to build without garages in order to get approval from the comrades in the planning department.
    So you would be fine with eliminating all parking mandates (maximum AND minimum) citywide? If developers are falling all over themselves to build parking, why are comrades such as yourself and Futurist for parking minimums? Sounds like developers would build plenty everywhere, no need to force them in 80+% of the city.

  68. Posted by Futurist

    I’m for off street parking requirements, min or max because it makes sense, and it’s needed.
    And it’s always been about choice. Never said it wasn’t.
    It’s about the choice to rent or buy a place with parking. If you don’t want or need parking, then don’t move there.
    Pretty simple concept.

  69. Posted by anon

    If you don’t want or need parking, then don’t move there.
    Exactly! If you DO want or need parking, don’t move to a place built without parking.

  70. Posted by Jay Blue

    Having a degree from an institution a short five blocks from this site (CCA/the California College of the Arts) I can guarantee that the people living here will walk or bike to the proximal arts schools, not drive. This is SORELY needed close to the Design District schools (Culinary Academy and Academy of Art are also walkable).

  71. Posted by conifer

    The current mad policy, as noted by Mayor Brown, is to forbid developers from including adequate parking. In a short time, a prospective resident of all the new areas south of Market will not have a choice.
    This is intentional.
    It pleases those whose religion prohibits car ownership. Unfortunately for all of San Francisco, it is about as enforceable to as another religion’s famous ban on contraception.
    Now that one of the major power brokers of The City has declared his position, perhaps there will be sufficient political will to overturn the irrational policies.

  72. Posted by anon

    The current mad policy, as noted by Mayor Brown, is to forbid developers from including adequate parking.
    Um, the current mad policy is to require developers to build more parking than they would like in 90+% of the city. Why are you so focused on an equally strange policy that only focuses on 10% of the city? Aren’t both absolutely ridiculous?

  73. Posted by AnonArch

    Gosh “anon”, you seem to have a compulsive need to get the last word and make sure that no other links, comments are statistics get discussed. Again and again your compulsion to pretend there is not parking restrictions as part of planning policy is bizarre.
    The former Mayor, unlike YOU, understands that the policy he helped promote of forbidding parking from being being included in many new developments was a mistake. Unlike you, Mayor Brown has noticed that the SFMTA focused energy, dollars and construction on punishing drivers by removing traffic lanes, on street parking, and traffic calming while MUNI was allowed to fall apart.
    Now with all the money spent on bike paths, pedestrian bulbs, smart meters, parklets, etc. the SFMTA is asking for over TEN BILLION to FIX MUNI. Only 3.5% of commuters get to their jobs on bikes (See SFMTA and SFBC websites, as well as Socketsite which provided this statistic in the past), yet they have received the complete focus of transit officials at the expense of what is now an overcrowded broken down transit and street infrastructure.`

  74. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    What do Smart Meters, Parklets, Pedestrian Bulbs, etc have to do with bicycling?
    None of things cost very much money at all, which is why they were being pursued during the economic downtown.
    Now that the economy is improving and more funds are available, MTA is focusing again on the parts of the Transit Effectiveness Process (TEP) that costs money.
    MUNI and parking enforcement have always been the primary focus of MTA’s efforts. Any claim otherwise is a fantasy on your part.

  75. Posted by Sierrajeff

    anon – SFMTA itself says 30% of traffic problems come from people looking for parking (though their data is questioned).
    However the same 30% figure, in a study two years earlier in 2011: IBM Global Parking Survey: Drivers Share Worldwide Parking Woes.
    See also “Cruising for Parking” by Donald Shoup, a professor at UCLA: “Sixteen studies of cruising behavior were conducted between 1927 and 2001 in the central business districts of eleven cities on four continents [and] about thirty percent of the cars in the traffic flow were cruising for parking.”

  76. Posted by Futurist

    Once again Sierrajeff, your comments make sense.
    But a lot of SS regulars here, including anon, sf, NVJ and other simply are hooked on the drug that SFMTA sells on the street; the drug of pushing cycling down our throats and getting rid of as much parking as possible, demonizing cars constantly, wasting a LOT of money on SOME bike path locations (like Cesar Chavez), pretending that urban biking makes a significant impact on our transit (which it does not)…among the lies.
    Maybe someday soon we will get a competent Mayor. Maybe someday we will get a working transit system.
    I guess we can dream.

  77. Posted by Rillion

    I generally don’t care that much on either side of the bike issue but the militancy, overheated rhetoric, and just plain meanness of the anti-bike posters here are starting to move me to take the opposite position to them.

  78. Posted by conifer

    “anon” deliberately, indeed disingenuously, ignores the fact that the anti-parking police is entirely focused on the portion of the city that needs parking the most, where the new development is.
    I suspect that it is an attempt by the so-called progressives to create apartments full of people without cars, assuming that such people will support other putatively leftist ideas.

  79. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Since when is getting around without a car “leftist” ?
    It is a little amusing to think that the powers in the city are attempting to create a tiny bit of housing that tilts the political scales in their direction. Yeah, that’s the ticket. This project isn’t being created because a dense city has demand for this sort of housing. Its because of a CONSPIRACY !

  80. Posted by anon

    @Sierajeff – I’d be all for implementing all of the policies prescribed by Donald Shoup.
    @conifer – so you have no problem with eliminating minimums in the 90%+ of the city that have them? You keep dodging that question, leading me to believe that you truly desire a leftist mandate that each person must be granted a parking spot by the state, because otherwise they must be a red.

  81. Posted by PolkGulch

    SierraJeff’s links to articles about “cruising for parking” are fascinating.
    I have to agree with Conifer this is all about political ideology, in that when MTA planners were asked if they would “allow” private parking garages to be built nearby to Polk Street to make up for the amount of parking being removed for bike lanes, one official (Brinkman I believe) was overheard to say “Not One Space” on a microphone I do not think she knew was live. This was pointed out later on in the hearing by a citizen speaker (Reiskin seemed embarrassed by the comment), and is clearly audible online. One Polk Street merchant and nearby property owner reminded the board that he had asked for approval to build a parking garage on a piece of land he owned between Polk and Van Ness and was told this was “impossible”.

  82. Posted by anon

    ^And? I have a neighbor near Geary and 10th that asked planning to allow a three unit building with no off-street parking. Planning laughed at him. He came back with two spots and was still told “absolutely not”. This type of thing is repeated on a daily basis all over the 90% of the city that has the 1:1 requirement.
    Sierrajeff’s articles are interesting, but they’re talking about commercial districts in medium density suburbia (Pasadena or Palo Alto style), not primarily residential neighborhoods in an urban setting. The Mission bears little resemblance to University Ave in Palo Alto, does it not?

  83. Posted by Futurist

    Resemblance of a particular neighborhood to another neighborhood has zero bearing on parking requirements and issues.
    Hopefully we will begin to see an organized backlash by residents of our neighborhoods who are negatively affected by the lack of new parking, and the removal of parking for bike lanes, such as the debacle that will occur on Polk Street.

  84. Posted by anon

    Resemblance of a particular neighborhood to another neighborhood has zero bearing on parking requirements and issues.
    So are you saying that Chinatown should have the exact same amount of parking as the Sunset? Density doesn’t matter?
    Even I think that a neighborhood with 10,000 residents needs more parking than one with 1,000. Shocked that you disagree there.

  85. Posted by Futurist

    Ah, yes actually.
    IF the Chinatown neighborhood has or had a proven need for more parking, then so be it.
    It’s NOT just the “neighborhood”. it’s also about the demographics of the residents, ages, incomes, accessibility to transit, etc.
    Anon, too many of your arguments are just black and white. To you, it’s yes or no. To me there are always variations and distinctions that define the answer.

  86. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “IF the Chinatown neighborhood has or had a proven need for more parking, then so be it.”
    You’ve gotta be kidding. Add parking to the primary beneficiary of the city’s largest transit project in the last few decades? Add parking to some of the most congested streets in the city?
    This is why we have planners in the loop and don’t simply give in to the demand d’jour from shortsighted complainers.

  87. Posted by Futurist

    Relax MOD. Wasn’t the discussion more hypothetical than real?
    Your kneejerk comments are getting out of hand.

  88. Posted by anon

    Anon, too many of your arguments are just black and white. To you, it’s yes or no. To me there are always variations and distinctions that define the answer.
    Says the guy who just said that neighborhoods should have the exact same amount of parking required.
    I was the one saying that neighborhoods of vastly different makeup should be looked at as such (and why comparing Pasadena to dense urban neighborhoods is worthless).

  89. Posted by soccermom

    I lived in Cloyne Court, a co-op at Berkeley for one summer in the mid 90′s. It was about $225 a month as I recall. But then, there were other non-monetary costs.
    I remember the punk band that rehearsed in the bedroom above mine.
    I remember the one co-op meeting I attended was a labored discussion about whether public oral sex was appropriate in the communal living room at 11pm on a Saturday. “Stop projecting your outdated norms on me!!!”
    Also, nobody ever washed dishes. Like, ever.
    I am happy for someone build this if they want, but in the abstract I think it is a terrible idea.

  90. Posted by lyqwyd

    Re: 30% of traffic.
    This is from Shoup, as mentioned above. But there are several misinterpretations going on in this thread:
    1) Traffic can mean several things, it can mean either the flow of vehicles, or congestion caused by too many vehicles using the road. Shoup’s study is referring to the flow of vehicles, not congestion. So while it’s true that lack of parking availability can increase the number of vehicles on the road at any moment, sometimes significantly, it cannot be stated that 30% of congestion is caused by lack of parking availability.
    2) His number is an average, it can be higher, or lower.
    3) It is a mistake to say that 30% of the traffic “problem” is from lack of parking, as the traffic “problem” is referring to congestion, which is not part of what Shoup is talking about
    4) Shoup is talking about parking in shopping districts, so has no relevance to this development, or residential parking requirements in general
    5) It’s disingenuous to use Shoup’s number, but ignore his conclusion, which is completely contradictory to those claiming more parking needs to be built. Shoup’s position is that the increased traffic flow can be eliminated by using free market dynamics on parking: Meters should charge rates such that there is on average 1 parking spot open on each block, at all times.
    His proposals have been implemented in certain parts of the city, as well as other cities, and the results have been fantastic, and entirely in accordance with his predictions. Also note that in some places meter rates have gone down, as they were charging too much for that location.
    Shoup most certainly does not recommend building parking garages, as Willie Brown is trying to pormote. Let’s remember that Willie Brown works for construction interests, and they make a lot of money when parking garages get built, especially on the city dime.

  91. Posted by Theojo

    No lavoratory in the bathroom? No requirement for 2 doors between the bathroom and kitchenette? My how the SF housing code has grown more lenient in the last 30 years.

  92. Posted by Myselfandi

    A plan this size absolutely has to have parking built in.
    As a neighbor, we notice the difference in street parking when one small business gets slightly more popular. That is how tight street parking is. Adding 400 additional cars would be a train-wreck.

  93. Posted by Thomas R Fox

    As the former owner of this lot and the next door neighbor at 398 11th. Street I am entirely against it’s concept. I have not been consulted as to my thoughts or wishes in anyway about this project.
    Lack of parking will be devistating to this neighborhood.
    By contract according to my sales agreement I am entitled to two very large parking spaces for the next 25 years at this location regardless of what is built there. Anything less will not be within the sprit of the sales agreement and put title to this entire project in question. I should have been consulted first before anything had been proposed for this site.

  94. Posted by anon

    ^wow, selfish. I’m sure that your contract allows for voiding it for some dollar amount and/or transferring the spots to other locations. If it doesn’t, you’ve probably got a good lawsuit to recover damages, but doubtful that you can simply stop the development.

  95. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    This is kind of funny. The project may be built with exactly two parking spots, both allocated to a single individual who doesn’t live in the building.

  96. Posted by Thomas R Fox

    That would be funny. just kidding.

  97. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    OK, ironic not funny. BTW I applaud your proactive effort to secure parking from this deal and hope that the buyer doesn’t try to weasel out. You set a good example of taking responsibility to ensure that you have the parking that you want.

  98. Posted by Alai

    As a neighbor, we notice the difference in street parking when one small business gets slightly more popular.
    Indeed. The key to preserving parking availability is to have the government step in and eliminate any successful, or potentially successful, business.
    You may think I’m being sarcastic, but this is a formula that has been successfully replicated across the US. Standard public policy is to refuse to allow businesses to open unless they have parking. This makes it impossible for new businesses to open in older built-up areas, so buildings are abandoned, and eventually demolished in favor of parking lots. Once the land is majority parking lot, you can move ahead with redevelopment. Result: ample parking. Of course you sacrifice walkability, the tax base, historic neighborhoods, functional public transit, etc., but you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

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